Sunday, 18 October 2015

Eruption on Mount Copahue.

The Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center reported plume over Mount Copahue, an active volcano on the border between Chile and Argentina roughly 500 km to the south of the Chilean capitol Santiago, on Sunday 11 October 2015. The plume rose 6.1-7.6 km over the volcano, and drifted to the northeast, but no ashfall was recorded. On Monday 12 October a small amount of steam and gas was recorded escaping from Copahue, and a small ashfall was recorded to the southeast. This is the first activity recorded on Copahue since 2013.

Plume over Mount Copahue on 11 October 2015. AFP/Getty Images.

Copahue comprises a chain of nine craters along a 2 km east-west line, with the most recent, still active, crater at the eastern end. This chain sits within the 400 000 to 600 000 year old, 6.5 by 8.5 km Trapa-Trapa Caldera, which in turn sits inside the older (more than 2.5 million years old), 15 by 20 km Caviahue Caldera. The active crater contains an acid lake, the Del Agrio, which is fed by acidic hot springs at its east end. The lake is noted for frequent fumerole (gas) emissions, and occasional explosive events.

The approximate location of Mount Copahue. Google Maps.

Like other volcanoes in the Andes, Copahue is fed by the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Place along the west coast of the continent. As the Nazca Plate sinks into the Earth it passes under South America, and at the same time is partially melted by the heat and pressure of the planet's interior. More volatile elements in the melted magma to rise up through the overlying South American Plate, fueling the volcanoes of the Andes.

See also...

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Authorities in Chile have began to evacuate homes within 20 km of Mount Calbuco, a volcano in the Los Lagos Region in the south of the country, after the volcano began to erupt at about 6.00 pm local time...


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